Preventing Falls In Seniors

Posted on

Dec 21, 2016

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Each one of us at one time or another has experienced, the heart-pumping experience of losing our footing on a patch of ice or some other slippery surface. Time seems suspended as we watch our feet fly up in front of our eyes, and we brace ourselves for a fall.
As we grow older, our risk for falling increases. Per the National Safety Council (NSC), the risk of falling significantly increases the older a person becomes. An average of one in every three Americans age 65 or older falls each year, and about two million seniors are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries annually. These injuries often include fractures and the risk of traumatic brain injuries. Nearly 18,500 adults age 65 and older die each year from their fall-related injuries.download movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword 2017 now
What causes the increase in falls among older adults? Physical changes from the aging process, as well as reactions to the medications used to treat those conditions, are a big part of the problem. However, the fear of falling need not control a seniors life. Most falls can be avoided by following some simple strategies and preventative measures.
Six out of every 10 falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to
move around without thinking about our safety.

An important step toward preventing falls at home is to remove anything that could cause you to trip or slip while walking.


Arrange furniture to give you plenty of room to walk freely.
Be sure that carpets are secured to the floor and stairs.
Put non-slip strips on floors and steps.
At home and elsewhere, try to avoid wet floors and clean up spills right away.


Be careful when walking outdoors, and avoid going out alone on ice or snow.


During the winter, ask someone to spread sand or salt on icy surfaces.
Poor lighting inside and outdoors can increase your risk of falls.
Good lighting on stairways is especially important.
Place a lamp within easy reach of your bed. Put night lights in the bathroom, hallways, bedroom, and kitchen.
Have handrails installed on both sides of stairs and walkways.


Properly placed grab bars in your tub and shower, and next to the toilet, can help you avoid falls, too.


You might find it helpful to rearrange often-used items in your home to make them more accessible.


Editors Note: This article was submitted by Kris Carter. Mrs. Carter is the Executive Director of Aspire Home Health and Hospice and may be reached at (801)292-0296 or by email kcarter@AspireUtah.com.

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No one wants to experience a fall, but for those over 55, a fall can lead to serious injury. Thats why learning how to prevent falls is so important for healthy aging.Heres a look at why falls happen, why preventing them is important, and some exercises and activities that can help older adults build balance and stability, while actually being fun and engaging.To help prevent falls, first understand why they happenHere are some common reasons why seniors fall:Changes in visionWeakening hip and leg musclesPoor posture or spinal degenerationStumbling due to the inability to lift your feetSlower reaction time to obstaclesDrug interactions that result in dizziness or poor balanceLightheadedness caused by low blood pressureWhy its so important to prevent fallsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as a broken bone or head injury.Working on flexibility, stability, stretching and strength are vital when your goal is to prevent falls so you can live a long and healthy life. Many of the movements are simple, and many are fun activities as well. Always remember to take your time, do what feels comfortable, and breathe deeply. Here are just a few suggested exercises to prevent falls.Getting started: activities and exercises to help prevent fallsDanceDancing is a wonderful exercise for aerobic fitness, weight management, muscle and bone strength and endurance. In addition, moving through space in different directions and in different ways improves static and dynamic balance, spatial awareness, coordination, and reaction time. Dancing is also an excellent way to get all the benefits of socializing and interacting with others on a regular basis. And it can be a lot of fun!Tai ChiThe National Council on Aging reports that many studies have shown Tai Chi to be one of the most effective exercises to prevent falls. Tai Chi targets leg strength, flexibility, range of motion, and reflexes.According to the Tai Chi for Health Institute, with regular practice, Tai Chi improves balance by strengthening muscles and co-ordination; at the same time, it strengthens the mind, thereby improving calmness and confidence in not falling. Thus, both physically and mentally, Tai Chi is an extremely effective exercise when your goal is to prevent falls.YogaYoga is good for so many things that affect healthy aging: reducing stress, treating fatigue, lessening pain, and perhaps most importantly, increasing core strength and balance. This last one can reduce the risk of falling.You dont have to do complicated moves to the benefits. For example, the simple mountain pose can help you improve your posture and body awareness. Stand tall, weight distributed evenly on both feet, keep your knees slightly bent. Draw your shoulder blades together and down your back. Relax your arms and let your palms face forward. Breathe deeply and relax.WalkingNo special equipment required, just a good pair of walking shoes and a place to walk (indoors or outdoors). Add a friend or two and you have a fun way to get a workout that doubles as a balance booster!According to Harvard Health, walking strengthens the muscles in the lower body. It also is a great way to stretch muscles and thus improve your posture, which in turn, can improve your balance. Dont worry about distance, especially if you are beginning a walking program. And dont hesitate to use a cane or walker if you need one. As you feel stronger, add more minutes to your walks. Try to walk at least 150 minutes a week. Wear comfortable clothing, walk with confidence, and breathe deeply.GrapevineHeres an easy move that can help improve your balance. You might begin by being near a wall or a chair to help steady you or hold someones hand if needed. Simply step across in front of your right foot with your left leg. Continue moving across the room sideways, uncrossing the left leg. Repeat. When ready, just reverse direction. Wear smooth-bottomed shoes and concentrate on your movements.At Heritage Communities, we are here to help you live better and live longer.We do this by proactively implementing best-in-class lifestyle enrichments, senior-centric technologies, and the latest approaches to senior care. Our values define how we lead, care, and behave at every community we own. Let us tell you more.We redefine living better. You make it your own. Download our free guide, Family Decision Toolkit. Or contact us today 402-614-5222.